Toxic friendships

Sometimes we can find ourselves hanging on to friendships that may not be adding to our lives in a positive way. Sometimes, ‘banter’ can go a bit far. If a friendship makes you feel bad about yourself, and there’s more negative than good to it, it’s time to ask whether it meets your definition of friendship.

If there’s an opportunity to talk to your friend about how they’re making you feel, be straight with them. Try saying to them, “I find it upsetting when you…”, “That made me uncomfortable” or “It’s embarrassing when you keep on bringing up that time…”. If they don’t get it and nothing changes, it’s time to pull away. This of course can be easier said than done as you may be friends through a wider circle, or feel that this person is the link to other friends. Feeling you have to continue a relationship that you’re not happy in can cause a lot of stress.

Try to spend time with people you are comfortable with. The more time you do this, the easier it is to get perspective on relationships that are not going so well.

Talking things through

We can’t always avoid people who make us feel bad. Working out how to be around those we don’t really like or make us feel uncomfortable is a part of life.

If someone is making it difficult for you to maintain a relationship with them, talking through your feelings with someone you do trust can make the situation clearer and easier to manage.

A family member or friend can help you feel more in control of a difficult friendship. Taking the time to make sure we are surrounded by people who make us feel good has positive effects in all aspects of our lives.

Good communication is important for all relationships, including friendships. Keeping things open and honest and being the same yourself will benefit any friendship you have.